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How does the Medifast Diet work?

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Got a quick question: How does the Medifast Diet work? Thanks for any answer. 2nd question I got is.. Im starting week 3, and Im nervous to start working out. Before Medifast I was doing Chalean extreme (which is HEAVY weight lifting, it's very strenuous etc) I want to get started on that again, but Im terrified that Im not eating enough and that Ill mess up my weight loss. So then Im thinking maybe Ill just start running on my treadmill again, but I really HATE that. The only stuff Ive ever liked doing is the Chalean Extreme videos.



Anyways... was anyone else nervous to start working out??? did you have trouble losing or did it help??? I know Medifast stance is "as long as it's under 45 mins" but if you look at the meal plan for Chalean Extreme she wants you eating like 2000+ calories a day, and I am obviously not able to do that...

Comments (32)

I'm stumped. I'm not so sure what is the answer to that question. I'll do some Googling and get back to you if I got an answer. You should email the people at Medifast as they probably could answer your Medifast question..

Comment #1

I just started week 4 and last weekend was the first time EVER I stepped foot into a gym.

Scary business... Anyway... Hubby and I will try out this gym on Thursday. Please keep your fingers crossed for me as I am just not used to any physical excercise ........

Comment #2

My best advice? Exercise if you want the health benefits. Don't count on it to move the scales any faster. Do only what you LOVE not what you think you SHOULD do. And if exercise means slower weight loss and you find it really difficult to manage head-wise, just keep a grip on the food. You can always add exercise later!..

Comment #3

Exercise may slow down weight loss, not sure. But... I'm pretty sure it will speed up inches lost. That is my experience anyway. I just started working out again this weekend on the treadmill, but I do enjoy it and it makes me feel good. I'm not weighing either, so, I'm not sure if it will slow down weight loss or not..

Don't the biggest losers follow a low calorie diet and exercise like, 8 hrs. a day?..

Comment #4

This is my third week but i've been doing bootcamp n spinning at the gym before not doing any exercise now I dont really like that I cant do much now, want to be at the gym I miss my exercise mates.

Am I suppose to to do just 30 or 45 n walk out ?? no fun. Dont get me wrong I love the losing weight but I also want exercise...

Comment #5

Hmmm not sure what chalean extreme is but it sounds...extreme.

Do you have to do the entire program or can you just do like 15-25 mins of the routine?..

Comment #6

Oh no, you have to do the whole video... And I LOVE it!!! Ok maybe I will give it a bit more time, and then think about doing it, just cause I want to tone up and build up some sexy muscle, but I don't want to slow down my loss at all..

Good luck to all the other newbies thinking of starting exercising..

Comment #7

Stay within the medifast guidelines, no more than 45 minutes of vigorous exercise per day. If you can do the weighlifting while adhering to this principal, your body will use the excess calories it needs from your fat reserves. That is the theory..

BEFORE YOU BEGIN buy a small portable handheld body fat analyzer. Take your % body fat, write it down along with your pounds of fat and pounds of lean. You will need to take the reading first thing in the morning before any exercise or caffeine..

You will want to use THAT and NOT the scale, as your measure of success. If you are actively desiring to build muscle, you will have to come to terms with possible stalling out on the scale somewhat as you do that, because in terms of VOLUME, muscle does weigh more (is more dense) than fat. So you could be wildly shrinking but not losing on the scale...

Comment #8

I'm a TurboJam girl myself, same trainer as ChaLEAN Extreme..

The reason exercise "slows" your weight loss is because muscle weighs more than fat and if you are building muscle while you lose fat the scale may not show what you "think" it should. Very important to track your measurements (or body fat %) in addition so you can get a true picture of your progress..

I use the Bodybugg and each week on official weigh in day, I do my measurements as well... so I can see the amount lost not only in scale weight, but in fat weight lost. It actually divvies up my weight in to lean mass and fat mass based upon my weight and my measurements...

Comment #9

I'm starting week 11, and did not resume exercise until week 3, more because of life schedule and energy than "being good." I'm glad I did not try earlier. What I've found is that for more strenuous workouts, I have to time and select my foods carefully. If I go much past .5 hour from the time I eat, I loose energy before my 45 minutes is up. Oatmeal has shown to be the best meal, but any of the higher carb ones will do. The 10 carb drinks and shakes are of no use..

Exercise Support typically "allows" 1 hour programs/classes saying that part of them are warm up and cool down time, so don't have to count toward "vigorous" exercise time..

I suggest you try the treadmill, aiming for 45 minutes exclusive of warm up/cool down, first, and see how your energy holds up. Of course, if you are doing your program at home, you can just stop, or tone down your intensity if your energy level isn't up to it. Also, I think I read in one of the boards or program print items, that they recommend that you eat something relatively soon after your session. Occasionally, if meal timing is not in sync with gym timing, I will eat part of a bar on the way, and finish it up on the way home..

The big bummer for me on the 45 minute limit will be not being able to ride my bike to/from the gym or pilates studio, and still have have much other exercise time left..

The Exercise Support team also say to eat a bit additional protein if you are going to exercise much more than 45 minutes (distance runs, long biking). This is in addition to your 800-1000 calories. (I just had them clarify that for me last week.).

I've been averaging 4 pounds a week loss, so I am willing to stick pretty much with the 45 vigorous limit for now...

Comment #10

I think my problem is that since I've gained a few pounds back (maintenance for 3 yrs) I'm bigger than I was when I was at the same weight when I first lost it. Is that because I've gained it back as fat and have lost muscle that I had before? kb1968, where would you get a body fat analyzer? How accurate are they? What's the best type? It sounds *really* helpful to check your progress that way...

Comment #11

You aren't alone - I've been on Medifast since October and haven't started working out yet. I am losing very slowly as it is and am afraid that exercising will slow me down even more. However, I want to start working on getting in shape so I will be starting as soon as our new gym opens (soon, I hope). I am really, really working on not allowing the scale to dictate my life. Just yesterday I asked my husband to take the scale and put it somewhere where I could not get to it. It has been p***ing me off for the past several weeks and I'm determined not to get back on it until the middle of next month...

Comment #12

I'm also a weight lifter. No aerobics. (drs orders!).

I'm listening to my body. When I'm feeling well and frisky, I hit the punching bag or my Marcy machine. If I'm feeling tired or "off", I don't. As a weight lifter, you know that you shouldn't work out more than every other day to build muscle or you over-train anyway..

Just play it by ear!.

And I agree with kb1968. Get ready for the scales to stall (at least for awhile) and look at inches and body fat instead..

Here was my wake-up call: Back in 1990 I weighed 140 and was a size 9. I was working out with a friend (a dancer) who wore a size 4. After we worked out she weighed herself in the locker room and weighed... 140!! The girl had NO body fat and all that muscle is heavy. I was stunned that 140 pounds could be so tiny..

But it's worth it. Muscle takes a lot of energy just to maintain. The more muscle you have, the more fat you have to burn in order to feed it. And muscle is prettier. I'd rather weigh 170 and have a 40 inch butt than weigh 160 with a 42 inch butt! :-)..

Comment #13

Muscle doesn't weigh more than fat. A pound is a pound. Take out your scales and weigh a pound of meat and then weigh a pound of butter/lard/oil. You will see the difference. Now imagine those pounds on your rear end. LOL. It's voume not weight that is different...

Comment #14

I lost all my weight on Medifast but didn't work out one single bit. I regret it now. I say if you can handle the workout, do it. I am a little flat and flabby in some areas, and I think it's because I didn't work out. That being said, I JUST ordered ChaLean Extreme Sunday night. I used to weight train a lot (was workout partners with a fitness competitor in my younger years, lol) so I'm very familiar with weight lifting.

Yikes. Should be interesting. Lol..

Maggi..

Comment #15

I also lost all my weight with NO exercise and now I'm on my exercise journey searching for activities I enjoy..

A pound is a pound but a pound of fat is larger and bumpy..

On this program I lost my extra fat so my muscles showed up more since they wern't covered by fat. People said I looked like I worked out.

Also note that muscles retain water as they repair after a workout so you may see a higher weight on the scale the next day..

Don't panic you may want to not exercise the day before a weigh in..

I never liked to exercsie with the weight off I have way more energy and enjoy doing a lot more. Snow shoeing was my favorite all winter and it was so easy for me. Since I love multitasking I bring my husband with for one on one time and also my camera to stop and capture nature on our outing..

I have my new bike waiting for when the snow melts...

Comment #16

I also hate to tell you all here, but it takes a TON of work to gain muscle. As in, if you are SERIOUSLY lifting, it'll take a woman at least 8 weeks or so to put on one pound of muscle. If it was that easy to put on muscle as in a week with mild lifting, bodybuilding would be no big deal and we could get that fitness model look inside of a month or two. This is one of my pet peeves we read about someone who is inactive that starts lifting light weights for 20 minutes. Their weight loss stalls, they post, and people chime in with "you're gaining muscle"...nope, you aren't. Sorry, just isn't happening! Hate to be a Negative Nancy (sorry all you Nancy's out there, nothing personal) but you aren't gaining muscle after 3 days of llight lifting..

Exercise will keep your muscles tight, make you feel better, you will probably weigh more than your compatriots but look better than those at the same weight as you who don't exercise, and you'll feel better about yourself. BUT you won't lose significantly more weight while exercising in my experience, and you might get a stall on the scale, mostly due to body adjustments and water retention (muscles get damaged during exercise and retain water in order to heal)...

Comment #17

That's exactly what I meant. If you take an equal volume of muscle and fat, the muscle will weigh more. If you have equal weight of muscle and fat, the fat will take up a significantly larger volume..

A 140 pound dancer who trains for 8 hours a day does not have the same volume as a 140 pound housewife...

Comment #18

I wouldn't use the Biggest Loser show as an example of what to do in real life. It's TV-you never know what goes on behind the scenes..

If you're going to do the Chilean Extreme video I highly recommend doing the 4 & 2 plan. Medifast is basically controlled starvation, so to put your body through that much stress and then starve it isn't ok. I had to dramatically cut back on road biking last fall because I'd bike and burn 1,300+ calories and feel light headed, nauseous, and ravenous..

This video will still be there at goal. I'd stick to lighter, less strenuous workouts for now...

Comment #19

I think that you're dead right about retaining fluid at the beginning of an exercise program (I know that I swell) and that masks fat loss. It makes sense and explains why so many people have a weight stall or even gain at the beginning of an exercise program..

I truly don't want to be argumentative, and I know what "they" say about women gaining muscle, but that's just not the way it works out for me..

OK, here's my experience:.

The summer I turned 17, I started a weightlifting program. I would bike 10 miles a day (5 to the gym, 5 home) and lift weights for 2 hours with a trainer. My goal was to build muscle, so that's what he set me up for. Here are my beginning stats:.

Weight - 165.

BF - 35% (measured at the gym, water displacement).

Fat - 57.7 pounds.

Lean - 107.25 pounds.

Jeans size - 16.

I worked out intensively for 8 weeks, we then had to move out of state and that ground everything to a halt. Here were my ending stats:.

Weight - 135.

BF - 16%.

Fat - 21.6.

Lean - 113.4.

Jeans size - 5.

In 8 weeks I gained 6.15 pounds of muscle. That doesn't sound like a lot, but that averages out to .77 lbs a week..

If a woman is loosing an average of 2 lbs a week on Medifast and offsetting that with .77 of a muscle gain, she will only show an average weight loss of 1.23 for the week. For many of us, that is significant..

Now my family may be the exception (my daughter, mother, aunts and son all gain muscle easily), but even if a woman can only gain half the muscle that we can, that's still almost .4 pounds a week. Again, if a woman sees her average weight loss drop from 2 pounds a week to 1.6 pounds a week, it can be demoralizing and it's important to remember *why* this is happening..

Exercise will make you healthier and firmer, but (in my case) it can slow weight loss. With the fluid problem that you mentioned, it can even cause a gain - at least in the beginning..

Now I can't speak for aerobic exercise at all, this is specific to weight lifting. (I could never handle aerobics.)..

Comment #20

OMRON makes a really good handheld, you can pick it up through Amazon for about $30 or so. It is VERY accurate, and I know this because when I was hydrostatically analyzed (which is underwater dunking/impedence/volume...one of the most accurate ways of doing it), I immediately came home and used my OMRON, and it read EXACTLY THE SAME down to the 10th of a %..

So I can stand behind them...

Comment #21

Thank you for the OMROM BF analyzer tip, kb1968. I've been looking for a good one. I think that's the one my son's school uses..

(The one on my scale sucks! If I drink a glass of water it ups my BF by 5%. According to that, I once dropped 9% BF by sleeping for 8 hours...)..

Comment #22

Shay, you're absolutely right. There is no way to say "all women only gain muscle at this rate"... it is SO individual. I tend to put on muscle quite easily... you have to look at body type. Ectomorph? Mesomorph? HUGE difference in ability to put on muscle!..

Comment #23

Wow.... lots of replies lol! Thanks everyone!!!.

I will say that I did a month and a half of the program and I dont know percentage wise what I gained in muscle, but I was much firmer in a lot of areas, and Ive got some pipes on me now lol!!! So even just that amount of time makes a difference. NOW that being said... A lot of women tend to lift 3 and 5 pound weights... THAT is not going to make you gain muscle lmao!!! With Chalean extreme, Im lifting anywhere from 10-25 lbs depending on the moves... and they are done in a way as to make HUGE changes to your body in a short amount of time..

I actually found a post on the exercise boards where someone was saying this diet is too low cal to add muscle mass... and that makes sense. So I guess Ill save this workout for after Ive lost weight and want to start toning up. At this point not losing, or gaining would upset me, so I definitely dont want to do that lol!!!.

Thanks again everyone for your input...

Comment #24

I guess the only points I was trying to make was:.

1. light lifting by the average woman won't result in a 2 lb muscle gain in a few days;.

2. it is harder for women to gain muscle than men, mostly due to testosterone and other homronal differences;.

3. It takes years for the average person to gain enough muscle to make a huge difference in body composition..

Of course everyone is different; we are all unique. But to compare one's results at the age of 18 years old working out with a trainer doing heavy weights 2 hours a day for two months with the average woman on Medifast who decides to add weights to her program 3 times a week isn't quite...fair? And I kind of think it's a disservice in a way, because it leaves the average person with perhaps a false belief that it is easy to gain muscle mass and that a 2 lb bump up the scale after a few days of light weight training is because of muscle gain..

JMHO..

Comment #25

Sweetie, I agree with you wholeheartedly with points 1 and 2. I think you are 100% right about the fluid retention when starting an exercise program and I believe that this is the primary reason why so many of us stall or gain when we start exercising..

But it does not take the many woman years to build muscle with a proper nutrition and training program..

The thing that inspired me to do what I did that summer was an article in Shape magazine. It profiled a mom of two who weighed what I did (165) who transformed her body into competition-shape in just three months. That's what inspired me to even try. I don't remember her stats, but she built even more than I did in the first two months..

Could I do it now, at 40? No. But that's because I'm sick. If I wasn't sick, I still think it would be harder for me to do it now and I'll never look as good as I did then - what with the stretch marks and loose skin. It ain't going to bounce back the way it did back then! (It'll just bounce!).

Could any woman do this? No way! There are women with certain body types that just can't build muscle like that. It's like comparing an Arabian with a Clydesdale. You're not going to transform one into the other with diet and exercise..

I guess that's the point everyone's trying to make. Sometimes it *is* muscle that's holding back the scales...

Comment #26

If someone is doing 5&1... 100% OP... getting their water.... and they've just added exercise back in to the equation... they should be prepared to see the scale stall a bit or even show a temporary bump. It is because they are in the process of building muscle...

Is it worth it? It very well might be... by building muscle while you lose fat it takes longer to see scale changes BUT it cuts down on the amount of loose skin and gives you a leaner, toned appearance when you hit goal, rather than simply looking deflated (which, as we get older, is a more common phenomenon without some weight training)..

I'd just hate to see someone doing the program 100% think that the inevitable little "blip" or slowdown means they aren't doing 5&1 right. (Now, if they're cheating all over the place, it has nothing to do with the exercise program.).

Noelle, if you're looking for a good all around toning/cardio exercise to keep in shape, especially if you like Chalene Johnson (I love her!) try using.

Turbo Jam.

... all of the routines are 45 minutes or less and I've continued a pretty steady 2lb/week loss even doing a program daily...

Comment #27

I do have turbo jam also... Ive done it a few times, but I really really LOVE chalean extreme lol!!!.

*sigh*.

I also had just purchased turbo fire a few months ago, but I wont even think about doing that on this diet... you burn WAY too many calories with that workout..

I guess I could do the turbo jam for now though. thanks!!..

Comment #28

This thread has been great! I started in January and have been exersizing about 3-4 weeks now..

For the past 12 days I have had no weight loss and I am 100% OP and get about 128oz of water each day and I am so bummed!.

I have been doing 30 min of elliptical and 30 min of weights a day, changing the weights with ab circle lounger and/or Shred it with Jillian.....training for boot camp that starts on Monday. Doing this 4-5 days a week.....

I expected to see a stall, but I didnt expect it this long..

I heard if you start working out that muscle weighs more than fat, but the more muscle you have the easier it is to burn the fat??.

I am FINALLY enjoying my workouts.... but I enjoyed the weight loss and hope it balances out soon.......

Comment #29

I love to work out and I work out pretty hard. I do CrossFit. You can Google it for a better idea. I did have a bad slowdown of losses for about 3 weeks from December - January and I ended up falling off the Medifast wagon, which I really, really regret doing because it's taken me months to get back on track. I don't know if the slowdown was exercise or not because it wasn't anything new, but I do think intense workouts "hurt" from a numbers standpoint so you need to be mentally ready for that. I'm back and still working out and I'm not going to stop, but hopefully I am more mentally ready to accept that I might have slower losses...

Comment #30

Yes, in the long run it ends up being a huge thing because muscle is active fiber that burns a lot of calories even at rest, whereas fatty flab burns almost nothing at rest...

Comment #31

Exactly, Ella. I feel like my loss may be slower, but it will pay off in the long run...

Comment #32

I guess it all comes down to WHY we exercise..if we decide to exercise to boost weight loss, it may or may not work depending on how much you exercise and through personal experience. IMHO one WILL lose weight if calories are restticted and exercise is increased but it may take a few weeks to get going and for alot of people, not seeing the scales move in the direction you want them to go can be crushing. Alot of people just won't or cant' wait it out and that's completely understandable..

Others exercise for that body/mind connection and to establish good habits for maintenance because they intend to use exercise and diet together in order to control those pesky pounds..

Others still love the way they feel and want that cardio burn, and the numbers aren't as important to them....

Its all so personal! The only thing that I can really suggest wrt exercise is to find something you LOVE to do, and do it! Nothing worse than not looking forward to that workout. For some, spinning ROCKS. For others, Zumba. Still others love pushing weights! I know I struggled for YEARS, convincing myself that I HAD to join a gym and do the tready and weights and every freaking time I wouldn't stick with it. Only when I gave up that "industry preconception" that I actually found something I love doing and have really pursued it..

I think if you love it, you're more likely to stick with it. And if you don't like something at first, give it a chance, you may change your mind! But if you don't, that's not a failing of YOU, it just isn't the right thing for YOU. Keep looking, find it, and do it!..

Comment #33


This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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